NPR reports that the city is now requiring all city tour guides to take a test, making sure their knowledge of NY is tip-top.
The test was written by Justin Ferate, an urban historian and New York City tour guide (hey, is that a new career path for Gothamist? Urban history-tour guide? Hmm...): Ferate spent over two months writing the new exam. Each question is accompanied by a long commentary with clues to the answers -- a design intended to instruct as well as to quiz. Ferate wants tour guides to have higher standards and to be forced to know things like parking regulations and bus routes, as well as the heights of buildings.
Jane Marx, a tour guide opposed to the test, says that rapport with the audience is more important than getting answers right on the 150 question test. Gothamist thinks rapport is well and fine, but New York minutiae is what we love. We need to get our hands on this test. [Via Hilton - thanks, baby]